After the closure of the Funny Bone in 2008 and the subsequent failure of its successor, Hijinx, comedy went into hibernation in Boise. But during the next two years, it simmered as a DIY movement and slowly built enough momentum to support a dedicated club. That club, Liquid Laughs, is starting its new program of comedy four nights a week strong, with one of the world's most legendary weirdos—Emo Philips.
Those who have seen Weird Al Yankovic's movie, UHF, might remember Philips as the clumsy falsetto-voiced woodshop teacher who severs most of his fingers in the course of a single project. "Just call me Mr. Butterfingers!" goes his catchphrase.
But Philips was legendary as a stand-up comedian for more than a decade before his appearance in that film. And for good reason.
With his pageboy haircut, clothes picked from Calvin Klein's colorblind lunatic collection and mannerisms that seem attributable to a severe head injury, Philips would be hysterical simply reading the phone book.
But when you stack his twisted comic writing on top of it—bizarre riffs about his religion of eating coleslaw or the importance of opening car doors for ladies on dates instead of just swimming for the surface—the whole package is a unique and iconic act that leaves audiences in stitches.
Philips has appeared numerous times on Late Night with David Letterman, The Weird Al Show and Friday Night Live in the United Kingdom. This week, he'll be in Boise. Unless you genuinely hate the sound of laughter, make sure to be there.